Officials in Bali have taken the strategy on how to deal with unruly tourists on the island to the next level.
Indonesia’s Director General of Immigration has announced the formation of a new task force that will be dedicated to cracking down on badly-behaved tourists on the island.
Indonesia’s Director General of Immigration, Silmy Karim, wants to crack down on badly-behaved tourists in Bali but also reduce the number of low-spending tourists.
The move comes as part of a bigger mission to promote sustainable and high-quality tourism on the Island of the Gods.
The announcement of the new task force comes within months of the deployment of other immigration task forces who have been deployed to crack down on foreigners breaking the conditions of their visas, working illegally, and being disruptive to public life.
The difference is this latest task force has been deployed at the request of the Director General himself, and previous task forces have been sent out at the request of the Bali provincial government.
The new task force will be known as the Bali Becik Task Force – becik means ‘good’ in Balinese. The Bali Becik Task Force is a collaborative effort between the Director General of Immigration, the Immigration Division of the Bali Regional Office for the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, the Ngurah Rai Immigration Office, the Denpasar Immigration Office, and the Singaraja Immigration Office.
Director General Karim has given the new task force a target of one hundred immigration control operations every month. No doubt, many of which will result in fines, restorative justice mitigations and even deportations.
Director General Karim has said that these ‘control operations’ will be conducted in such a way that tourism will not be disturbed.
But news of government-mandated targets to investigate and potentially deport tourists based on reports from the public is concerning for many tourists.
Director General Karim told reporters, “We hope that with the formation of the Bali Becik Task Force, the level of violations of laws and norms by foreigners in Bali will decrease. Following the issuance of 12 Obligations and 8 Prohibitions for Foreigners by the Provincial Government of Bali.”
He added, “In the implementation, of course, we also synergize with the apparatus and other relevant agencies. With this task force, I hope Bali Becik can really come true.”
The Bali Becik Task Force will be working on their mission until 31 December 2023.
Director General Karim also explained that there is a strong correlation between the most problematic tourists in Bali and their level of spending.
According to DG Karim, “The main problem regarding foreigners in Bali is the large number of foreign tourists (tourists) with low spending who often make trouble. Because Bali is included in the category of cheap tourist destinations, so it attracts thin-pocketed tourists.”
Bali’s Governor Koster has previously spoken about his wishes to implement greater financial checks on tourists in Bali to ensure that visitors are spending enough money during their stay.
He and the Bali Becik Task Force are also calling on local residents to report any foreign nationals observed to be breaking the law or disrespecting cultural norms in Bali.
As a part of the wider ‘no wrong door’ approach implemented by local officials in Bali, Indonesia’s Head of Immigration has launched a new hotline number where residents can formally report complaints and violations.
DG Karim told the press, “The Bali Becik Task Force invites the people of Bali to report foreigners who violate the hotline number 081399679966.”
Between 1 January and 23 June 2023, a total of 163 foreign nationals were deported from Bali.
This included tourists who were caught breaking the law or disrespectful cultural norms, those who had overstayed their visa, and those who were conducting activities that violated the conditions of their visa, such as working or operating illegal businesses in Indonesia.
The formation and deployment of the Bali Becik Task Force come as a result of the Director General of Immigration Decree Number IMI-0187.GR.01.01 dated 23 June 2023.
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